10 Old, New, Borrowed and Blue Bridal Accessories

Image Gallery: Bridal Veils Here comes the bride, all dressed with fabulous accessories! See pictures of bridal veils.
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You've got the gown, but you may be having a hard time choosing your accessories -- especially if you're a traditional bride following the "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue" rule.

This little saying dates back to the 1300s, and brides have been taking it to heart ever since. The four items are tokens of good luck. According to wedding lore, if the bride carries all these items with her on her wedding day, she's sure to have a happy marriage.


So, what does it all mean? Something old is a token of remembrance of your life before marriage. Something new represents your new life with your husband-to-be. Something borrowed is a reminder that you and your husband won't face the world alone -- you have friends and family by your side. And something blue is a symbol of fidelity and purity.

You can always accessorize with just one or two tokens that cover all your bases. At my wedding, I wore my deceased grandmother's engagement ring, which served beautifully as my something old and something borrowed.

Whether you're a Conventional Cathy or a Thoroughly Modern Millie, you'll be inspired by our list of 10 fabulous bridal accessories


Family Heirlooms

Your great aunt's crystal will look elegant at the reception.
Your great aunt's crystal will look elegant at the reception.
Lisa Romerein/Getty Images

Does your family have any special items that have been passed down through the generations? These are perfect for a something-old piece!

Whether it's a vintage brooch, hairpiece or piece of jewelry, there are dozens of ways to style the accessory. Pin your grandmother's diamond brooch to your bouquet wrap, or affix it to your updo so you'll have a little sparkle in your hair after the veil comes off.


Look past the family jewels for even more ideas. Adorn the guest book table with your great aunt's crystal vase and your great-grandmother's tablecloth. A bride we know paid a sweet tribute to her parents by using their wedding cake topper!

Still coming up empty-handed? Ask your family members what treasures mean the most to them, and you'll find a way to use the most special ones on your most special day.


Your Mother's Wedding Accessories

Pearls match virtually any wedding gown.
Pearls match virtually any wedding gown.
Jamie Grill/Getty Images

Wearing something on your wedding day that belongs to your mother is special, but what's even more fitting is wearing something that she wore on her own wedding day.

That could be her embroidered lace handkerchief (ask your maid of honor to keep it handy in case there are any tears at the altar), pearl earrings or maybe even a scrap of her wedding gown sewn into the hem of your dress.


You'll be checking off something old and something borrowed from your list, and asking your mother to wear her bridal accessories will make her feel honored on your big day. She'll know you have a piece of her close to your heart!


Vintage Clutch

A chic vintage clutch is a tiny accessory that makes a big statement.
A chic vintage clutch is a tiny accessory that makes a big statement.
Omer Knaz/Getty Images

Who says you have to carry a bouquet? If you're known for your expansive handbag collection, be true to your style on your wedding day.

Vintage clutches and makeup bags bring a little whimsy and sophistication to your wedding day look. Either use one that belongs to someone in your family (which can serve double-duty as something old and something borrowed!), or go on the hunt to thrift stores or vintage shops to find one that fits your style and budget. Although you won't be carrying your clutch around your wedding reception, it will make for some great photographs! Look for metallic styles, bags with unique shapes or fabric clutches with sweet embroidered details.


To take this idea to the next level, why not buy a vintage piece for your gals as a bridesmaid's gift? It's a present they're sure to love, and if they carry the clutches on your wedding day, we'll let you cross off something old from your list.



Your dress might be the only new thing you wear on your wedding day!
Your dress might be the only new thing you wear on your wedding day!
Sri Maiava Rusden/Getty Images

A bride's wedding dress is the most common something-new item. This may seem like a boring choice, but it's traditionally been that way for a reason. Unless you're wearing your mother's dress or another family member's gown, your dress is likely to be the one new thing that you do wear!

Your dress allows you to make a statement and showcase your own personality. Some brides even buy two dresses: one for the ceremony and one for the reception.


So, if you happen to be wearing your mother's wedding dress for your ceremony, get one that represents your style for your reception! Just make sure that you're comfortable in the dress that you choose -- you want to feel as great as you look.

Even if the dress is new, you can opt for a vintage style. Some silhouettes, fabrics and lace details convey a classic aesthetic that will be complemented by any heirloom accessories you'll be wearing. Your grandmother's rose gold cameo will look lovely with an ivory lace gown, and even your mom's beloved strand of artificial pearls that have yellowed with age will work with the dress.



A fresh, bold palette of cosmetics completes your bridal look.
A fresh, bold palette of cosmetics completes your bridal look.
Peter Cade/Getty Images

Bet you didn't see this one coming! But it makes sense that for a fresh wedding-day look, you'll want brand-new makeup. Splurge on new foundation, blush, eye shadow, mascara and lipstick -- even a signature bridal fragrance if you've got the budget!

Don't buy the same old shades you wear every day. You can use cosmetics to create a new look for yourself, so go with a palette that's a little more daring. After all, you're going to be in the spotlight all night (and in the direct path of the photographer's flash!). Just be sure you don't go overboard -- you still want to look like yourself.




Diamond statement earrings stand out in pictures.
Diamond statement earrings stand out in pictures.
Burke/Triolo Productions/Getty Images

Genuine gems and precious stones don't come cheap, especially when you're footing the bill to feed and entertain 200 guests! For that reason, earrings are the perfect something-borrowed piece to get from a friend or family member.

From diamond studs to drop-pearl earrings, luxury on loan from someone else's jewelry box (or even a professional jeweler) can be a wonderful way to style your look. But this doesn't have to be all about bling -- borrowing earrings that your best friend or mother wore in her own wedding is a way to include something very special and sentimental in your wedding wardrobe.


If you have sisters or a circle of close friends, passing around a beautiful pair of earrings for each girl to wear at her wedding is a fun tradition-in-the-making.



Wearing Mom's veil is a lovely way to honor her.
Jamie Grill/Getty Images

Your veil is what really makes you look like a bride, so you don't want to be without one! Made from lace, tulle, chiffon, organza and netting, veils can be very expensive. So, borrowing a veil from a loved one doesn't just provide you with your something borrowed -- it's helpful financially!

A veil isn't normally something that women hold onto as a sentimental wardrobe piece the way we do our wedding dresses or a piece of jewelry, so you probably won't miss keeping the veil after your big day. Most brides don't even wear their veils during their reception, so if you don't have to spend the money on something that you'll only wear for a little while, don't!




A blue garter is a classic choice.
A blue garter is a classic choice.
Ashley Karyl/Getty Images

Wearing a blue garter is a subtle way to include your something-blue item in your wedding wardrobe. Hidden under your dress, the garter will be concealed during the ceremony, and guests will only get a peek when your groom goes for the garter toss.

Most brides wear two garters, one to keep and one to throw. Both can be blue, or you can wear one traditional one and one that's a little more fun. A friend of mine is a University of Georgia graduate, so you better believe she donned a red and black garter for her wedding! Of course, she wanted to keep with tradition, so she sewed a tiny blue bow onto it.


You'll find plenty of novelty garters to reflect your alma mater, love of motorcycles or even a favorite breed of dog. Since garters don't really serve a function these days (we've got pantyhose now), they're more for show. So, have a little fun with yours!


Sapphire Jewelry

Sapphires are a sophisticated something blue.
Sapphires are a sophisticated something blue.
Jonnie Miles/Getty Images

Styling your wedding day look with sapphire jewelry is a classy and elegant way to integrate something blue. Whether you go with sapphire earrings or a necklace, bracelet or ring, you're sure to turn heads with something so eye-catching.

You can make this piece as big or as small as you like by wearing either an elaborate chunky necklace or simple stud earrings.


There are so many options for sapphire jewelry out there, you're sure to find something that fits your budget. As an added value, you can get away with fake sapphires if you choose -- no one will know but you!

Want to go with the real thing but can't afford it? Peruse online accessories rental companies or inquire with your local jeweler about borrowing a fabulous piece of jewelry for less!



Blue satin strappy heels? Why not!
Blue satin strappy heels? Why not!
Michael Donnelly/Getty Images

You probably wouldn't think to wear blue shoes as your something blue, but fun-loving brides are making this a new, modern tradition. What could be cuter than having some awesome blue peep-toe heels peeking out from underneath your wedding dress?

If the blue shoes are too daring for you, you could always just paint your toenails blue. Although not quite as daring, it's still a fun way to incorporate a nontraditional accent as part of your wedding wardrobe. Go with baby blue to match your garter, or get shocking Caribbean lacquer to complement the ocean -- especially if your honeymoon destination is in a tropical locale!



Unique and Unexpected Bridal Style Photos

Unique and Unexpected Bridal Style Photos

Take a look at this photo album to see all of our style suggestions for the unique and unexpected style bride!

Related Articles


  • Knowyourwedding.info. "Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue." Feb. 3, 2010. (July 24, 2010). http://www.knowyourwedding.info/group/weddingtraditionsandcustoms/forum/topics/something-old-something-new?xg_source=activity
  • Favor Ideas. "The True Meanings of 'Something Old, Something New.'(July 24, 2010). http://www.favorideas.com/wedding-blog/the-true-meanings-of-something-old-something-new/
  • GAgirl.com. "Georgia Girl's Wedding Traditions." (July 24, 2010). http://www.gagirl.com/wedding/wedding2.html
  • Bella Sugar. "5 Ways To Do 'Something Old' Bella-Style." (July 24, 2010). http://www.bellasugar.com/Ideas-Something-Old-Wedding-8244088
  • Seleshanko, Kristina. "Excerpt of Bridal Accessories." (July 24, 2010). http://www.vintageconnection.net/Bridal_Accessories.htm
  • Wedding Channel. "Finding Something Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue." (July 24, 2010). http://weddings.weddingchannel.com/wedding-planning-ideas/wedding-fashion/articles/finding-something-old-new-borrowed-and-blue.aspx